Ulrike Rosenbach: today is tomorrow
Ulrike Rosenbach: today is tomorrow

To celebrate his 80th birthday, im ZKM | Karlsruhe presents a large exhibition devoted to the work of a media artist Ulrike Rosenbach. Ulrike Rosenbach was one of the first artists in Germany to make use of the video medium in the early 1970s. In her works, she raises issues of female identity, assigning gender roles and the holistic relationship between man and nature.

Ulrike Rosenbach’s early performances, in which she experiments with the technical possibilities of video to directly record, store and play back videos, sometimes attaching cameras to her body, received wide international acclaim. Thanks to her participation in groundbreaking exhibitions such as documenta 6 (1977) and documenta 8 (1987), Rosenbach became the most famous German performance and video artist of her time.

While still a student at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where she studied sculpture with Norbert Kricke and Joseph Beuys, Rosenbach made the role of women in society her subject. Her hoods and collars can be understood as symbols of women’s lack of freedom in patriarchal social forms. She also shows these themes in her early video works and creates physical actions without an audience in front of a fixed camera in her studio in which she questions her role as an artist, wife and mother.

Her involvement in the American Women’s Liberation Movement and her position as a professor of feminist media art at the renowned California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) in Valencia/Los Angeles, California in the mid-1970s, her work: instead of autobiographical themes, she focused on female patterns and clichés and their cultural message. She often used quotes from art history and worked with live recordings of herself overlaid with images of female characters from mythology, religion, art and popular culture.

With the advancement of digital imaging technology, Ulrike Rosenbach’s videos in the 1980s evolved into image compositions where she used visual effects such as computer-generated image montages and crossfading. Searching for the primal feminine principles and archaic matriarchal lines of tradition, in these years she increasingly shifted the focus of her works to the fundamental aspects of the coexistence of man and nature, the structure of space and time, and the cycle of creation and departure, death.

In the 1990s, Ulrike Rosenbach also created media sculptures in which the far-reaching emancipatory and socio-political content of her works was artistically realized. The artist has transformed many of her performances into elaborate spatial installations. Her latest video works are summaries and syntheses of earlier work cycles, in which, in addition to quoting images from her own works, she draws from edited sequences from the history of cinema and other sources, combining them into atmospherically dense, new compositions of images.

Since 2018, ZKM has been digitizing and processing Ulrike Rosenbach’s video archive, which consists of over 600 analog tapes and digital data carriers. Initiated by the late Peter Weibel (1944-2023) and created in close collaboration with the artist, this retrospective exhibition draws on the results of this work on the archive and presents over 120 works objects, videos, media installations, video sculptures, photographs and drawings – spanning over five decades.

Ulrike Rosenbach: today is tomorrow is part of a series of exhibitions at ZKM that honor the important work of a pioneering generation of media artists.

As part of the exhibition, a publication on the work of Ulrike Rosenbach, edited by Hendrik Folkerts and Peter Weibel, will be published by Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König in Cologne. In addition to Hendrik Folkerts, co-authors include Jennifer Doyle, Robyn Farrell, Stefanie Hessler, Natasha Marie Llorens, Alhena Katsof, Alisa Kronberger, Bojana Kunst, Peggy Phelan, Pavel Pyś, Rebecca Schneider, Caroline Lillian Schopp, Lumi Tan, Mmabatho Thobejane, and Jonah Westerman . The publication will be designed by Linda van Deursen.

Curators: Philipp Ziegler, Hanna Jurisch

The exhibition is supported by Stiftung Kunstfonds, Bonn. Special thanks go to the artist, lenders and Galerie Gisela Clement in Bonn.


RE:HUMANISM 3rd edition of Sparks and Friction
RE:HUMANISM 3rd edition of Sparks and Friction


The drama created by artificial neural networks, bizarre sea creatures, virtual biomes, new ways to imagine space exploration and the possibility of falling in love with artificial intelligence: is the near future according to the perspective of twelve artists from India, With China, the United Kingdom, the United States, Slovenia AND Spain, as well as a large group of Italian artists.

With the title “electric”. Sparks and frictionthird edition Re: humanisma great group exhibition that explores relationship between artificial intelligence and contemporary artrelationship able to create new imaginations and new narrativeswill open May 24 IN Romethought in context sustainable and inclusive developmentwith a critical attitude towards the increasingly widespread technocratic fanaticism. Curator: Daniel Cotimbofounder of the Re:humanism association, the exhibition will be open until June 18 in evocative spaces WEGILthe cultural center of the Lazio Region, managed by LAZIOcrea, and a building symbol of Luigi Moretti’s architectural rationalism.

At the exhibition, the works of the finalists of the third edition of the Re:Humanism Art Prizeselected as a result of the call for artists that took place in the previous months and which invited artists to reflect not only on the profound impact generated by the advent of Artificial Intelligence and the radical changes expected on the horizon but also on the relationship between artistic creation, new media, technological devices and scientific topics that bring into play a number of important reflections on identity, relationships and possible futures.

In addition to these works, there are two projects from Romaeuropa Digital Awardwhich will be presented in the autumn as part of Romaeuropa Festival while among this year’s novelties, the Salvatore Iaconesi Special Awarddedicated to a brilliant artist, recently deceased robotics engineer and activist.

Many themed points of this third edition: from New ecologiesthat aim to rethink the logic of extracting data and environmental resources, do New narrativesa perspective that intends to re-read the history of scientific progress through the prism of decolonialism, recovering archaic knowledge and rituals that, in dialogue with innovation, can generate new mythologies; from exploring the relationship with what is non-human Fun with non-humans to bodily transformations in biohacking practices Body hacking; With Metaverse exploration which collects visions, fears and dreams related to the new frontier of virtual reality in Machine visions and dreams, a fascinating immersion in the machine unconscious; to Other explorationsmapping different visions of the future that awaits us.

The works presented in the third edition of Re:humanism, starting from top three ranked: Zoophytevisionary work of the English Joey Holder inspired by cryptozoology, which outlines an environment inhabited by imaginary sea creatures, rather than discoveries or about which official science knows little, to ponder the line between reality and fantasy; a disturbing project Monologue By Riccardo Giaccone which combines ancient puppetry techniques with artificial neural networks; AND The Martian word for world is Mother by a North American artist Alice Bucknell, a work aimed at overthrowing the anthropocentric perspective that dominates the issues of space exploration and colonization of new planets. Then there is the work that has been rewarded The emerging rewardsigned by a Chinese artist and designer Yue Huang: Artificial life deconstructs the sci-fi imagination of super-efficient AI, setting us up against the failures of clumsy and fun AI.

in front of “new ecology” Both Echinoidea Future – Adriatic Sensing by Slovenian artist Robertina Sebjanic AND what remains By Piero Alphaeus: the first concerns the current geological and morphological bioconditions of sea urchins shaped by human polluting activity, the second concerns the problem of acoustic pollution of the oceans and the need to renegotiate interspecies relations.

The intersection of the natural and technological worlds is crucial at work The myth machine Indian Sahey Rahal, a virtual biome inhabited by post-human creatures designed to challenge binary distinctions between mind and body, human and artificial, myth and memory; and feed them “new narratives” who also invest work Ginevra Petrozzi titled Bite off more than you can chewwhere AI facial analysis is in dialogue with ancient somatic divination systems, in a swirling interweaving of archaic and modern thought, magical thought and technological thought.

Transformations of social relations and identity are an area where both Agriculturea work signed by a young Roman artist Federico of Pietrantonio this is about the impact of gaming platforms on everyday life among hikikomori, neet and gold farmer; both works Mara Oscar Cassiani which won the Salvatore Iaconesi Special Award, or Ai Love, Ghosts and Uncanny Valleys <3. I broke up with my Ai and will never download them againoriginal speculations about the possibility of falling in love with AI, assuming the same deviations that characterize toxic relationships, from ghosting to overpowering.

After all, two projects with digital award which will be presented in the fall Romaeuropa Festival: It slowly disappears into the data By Albert Barque-Duran – which, thanks to the use of advanced technologies, aims to create new spatial and temporal experiences – and Retraining bodies By Luca Pagana lecture-performance that explores new possibilities for human-machine interaction through sound.

Twelve projects in total, selected by a jury composed of organizers, experts in contemporary art and new digital technologies: Alfred AdamCEO of Alana Advantage; Andrea Bellinidirector of the Center d’Art Contemporain in Geneva; Ilaria Bonacossadirector of the National Museum of Digital Art, Karol Bonfilafinalist of the second edition of the Re:humanism Art Prize, Tiziana Catarci Director of the Department of Computer Engineering, Automation and Management (DIAG) of the Sapienza University of Rome; Daniel Cotimbo founder and curator of the Re:humanism project; Mauro Martinofounder and director of the Visual Artificial Intelligence Lab at IBM Research; Laura TripaldiPhD student in Science and Materials Nanotechnology at the University of Bicocca in Milan and curator of the webzine Notes from NERO Issues. Joining the jury: the committee that awarded the Salvatore Iaconesi Special Prize, consisting of members SHE: She loves dataresearch project of the artist co-created with her companion Persian Oriana; and the committee that awarded the Romaeuropa Digital Prize, composed of the organizers and Federica Paticurator of the Digitalive exhibition.

Main sponsor
Alan Advantage srl, Frontiere srl

with the patronage of Lazio Region, Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Rome

In association with LAZIOcrea, WeGil, Translated srl, Walllife SpA, Rome European Foundation

media partner Exibart

3rd edition
May 24 – June 18

Largo Ascianghi 5, Trastevere, 00153,

Opening May 24 at 17:00

Open Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00


OPEN CALL: European Media Art Platform (EMAP) Artist residencies 2024
OPEN CALL: European Media Art Platform (EMAP) Artist residencies 2024

With the support of the Creative Europe program of the European Union, the European Media Arts Platform continues the program of residencies for artists, collectives or other forms of artistic cooperation active in the field of digital art, media art and bioart.

European artists or collectives can apply for a two-month residency from January to December 2024. As collaboration is one of the core values ​​of EMAP, artists will collaborate with an artist of their choice or a local artist from the host institution.

The residency includes an invitation to the kick-off conference and networking event in Limassol in March 2024, a €4,000 scholarship with living expenses, a €2,000 scholarship for collaborating artists, a production budget of €4,000, free accommodation, travel costs up to €1,000 and free access to the technical facilities and/or media laboratories of the host institution. It also includes a professional presentation and the opportunity to participate in exhibition tours at festivals or EMAP member exhibitions in 2024, as well as the opportunity to be exhibited by some of EMAP’s 100+ partner institutions.

Applications should be submitted online at call.emare.eu and must include a curriculum vitae, (audio)visual documentation of previous work as well as a preliminary plan and presentation of the proposed project to be implemented under the EMAP residency program. Collaborating artists do not need to be identified at the time of application.

Applicants must be EU residents or taxpayers in an EU Member State or residents/taxpayers one of these eligible non-EU countries.

Undergraduate and graduate students are not eligible, but PhD students are accepted. We encourage beginning artists, regardless of age and academic degree, to submit applications.

We encourage artists to apply to institutions that are not located in their country of residence. Host institutions describe their particular curatorial approach, offered spaces and facilities on the EMAP website.

Member organizations

Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria) Cave skins (Bourges, France), FULL (Kosice, Slovakia), gnath (Braga, Portugal), production (Brussels, Belgium), IMPAKT (Centre for Media Culture) (Utrecht, Netherlands), Kersnikov Institute (Chapel Gallery) (Ljubljana, Slovenia), CONTAINER | contemporary art practice office (Zagreb, Croatia), LABoral Center for Art and Industrial Creativity (Gijon, Spain), M-Cult (Helsinki, Finland), NeMe (Limassol, Cyprus), Onassis Stegi (Athens, Greece), RIXC Center for New Media Culture (Riga, Latvia), WRO Art Center (Wroclaw, Poland), Werkleitz Media Art Center (Halle (Saale), Germany) in collaboration with transmedia (Berlin, Germany), ISSS – Indonesian Space Science Society / HONF FoundationYogyakarta, Indonesia hosts a special residency for 2024.

About the European Media Arts Platform:

The European Media Arts Platform (EMAP), initiated by werkleitz and co-funded by Creative Europe since 2018, is a consortium of 16 leading European media arts organizations specializing in digital and media art, bio art and robotic art. The consortium includes several renowned festivals dealing with these interdisciplinary art forms. In addition to the 16 permanent members of the consortium, the board of EMAP includes a yearly changing international organization accepting residencies. In addition to the two-month residency program, EMAP focuses on sharing knowledge through workshops and connecting artists and institutions through a partner showcase grant.

More about EMAP: emare.eu

Application at: call.emare.eu

Contact: info@emare.eu

Deadline for submitting applications: September 12, 2023, at 13:00 EST

ARTIVISM: The Art of Subverting Power
ARTIVISM: The Art of Subverting Power

How can art and activism be combined to tackle pressing social issues, surveillance, unethical corporations and corrupt governments?

On June 23-25, 2023 ARTIVISM: The Art of Subverting Power examines how art and activism can be combined to draw media attention to important social issues, targeting unethical corporations and corrupt governments working against the public good. The program presents distributed techniques and methods to provoke social and political justice using digital technologies for public awareness and political criticism. Among the invited speakers are artists, political activists and developers, as well as human rights defenders and truth tellers.

Artivism, a practice that combines art and activism, is configured through the actions of artists and collectives to generate social and political disruption (Bazzichelli 2006; 2013). Throughout June 2023 Disruption Network Lab celebrates its 30th anniversary of the conference with a program of meetings, workshops, speeches, panel discussions and art productions that focus on the importance of building a network of trust to expose power systems and injustices. The aim of the events is to reflect on the impact of technology and media on wider society by combining arts and networking projects that explore power asymmetries and civil rights violations.

Since the time of the avant-garde, art has been a means of understanding our society. The history of artivism in relation to digital culture dates back to the early 1990s, combining hacktivism and network culture projects. However, the beginning of this concept can be traced back to the 1980s, when artists experimented with various art forms, from performance art, media art, video art, street art and culture jamming, to stigmatizing abuses of power and critique of consumerism.

The history of this approach is long and includes a variety of practices (list is partial): from avant-garde art projects to the Fluxus movement; grassroots artistic subcultures of the 80s-90s. from mail art, The Church of the SubGenius, neoism and Luther Blissett to net art projects from the 90s; hacktivist interventions from early cypherpunk and cyberfeminism (including VNS Matrix, Old Boys Network, Cornelia Sollfrank) to the present day; first publicity, culture jamming and subversive efforts by Billboard Liberation Front, Guerrilla Girls and The Yes Men; Virtual Sit-in and other Electronic Disturbance Theater interventions (Ricardo Dominguez, 1997); Netstrikes, telestreets, Indymedia, Candida Tv and other media activism projects and grassroots collectives in Italy and worldwide in the early 21st century; AHA project: Activism-Hacking-Artivism (mailing list and exhibitions on media activism) by Tatiana Bazzichelli (2002) and her book Networking: art as a work of art (2006); Matteo Pasquinelli’s analysis in the book Media activism (2002); the monographic essay Artivism in the performing arts by the Slovene scholar Aldo Milohnić (2005); an autobiographical monograph by the Italian artist Giacomo Verde Technological artistry (2007); a decade of critical Internet and social media interventions before and after the mid-2000s (see: Tatiana Bazzichelli, Network interference, 2013); distributed interventions by Anonymous and LulzSec (Gabriella Coleman, 2014; Marco Deseriis, 2015); the recent debate on whistleblowing, privacy and data surveillance following the Snowden disclosure.

Conference ARTIVISM: The Art of Subverting Power examines the political impact of contemporary art forms and activism (artivism) in the areas of social networking, hacking, whistleblowing and leaks, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The aim is to provide a lively platform for debate and exchange analyzing the current transformations in political and technological critique, as well as reflecting on the need for today’s artistic practices to reveal the inner structures and logic of political, economic and technological systems. Do we still need artivism and what does it mean to combine art with activism today?

The curatorial approach is developed by comparing projects that deal with different forms of artivism and their political impact on our society. By inviting experts from various fields to analyze the invisible side of technology in shaping our lives, the aim is to create an interdisciplinary atmosphere of sharing and understanding, and to address a group of actors active in this field in Berlin and internationally.

This show is a continuation of the series publications AND events took place in Italy after the death of the artist Giacomo Verde, whose work was commemorated during the conference with the presentation of his last performance from 2019 “Il piccolo diario dei malanni” (The Little Diary of Ailments).

To combine: https://www.disruptionlab.org/artivism#intro

We are rooted but we are floating
We are rooted but we are floating

since 2003 Contour Biennial of Moving Images occupies a distinct position in the Belgian visual arts landscape, enjoying a reputation that extends far beyond the country’s borders. Contour has been produced and presented by the kunstencentrum nona since 2017. The tenth edition – titled C0N10UR – is curated by Auguste Orts, a Brussels-based production and distribution platform run by artists Anouk De Clercq, Fairuz Ghammam, Herman Asselberghs, Manon de Boer and Sven Augustijnen.

During the biennale, screenings and weekend programs will complement the exhibition with performing arts and live music. In this tenth edition, C0N10UR goes beyond Mechelen. Also part of the biennale are the cultural partners, the argos audiovisual arts center in Brussels and the Kunsthal Extra City in Antwerp.

With this anniversary edition, C0N10UR wants to celebrate the rich contemporary Belgian audiovisual arts scene, not only artists and filmmakers, but also production platforms and venues. The curators therefore decided to cooperate only with artists in residence in Belgium. With calls for new films and video works that may survive beyond the biennale, C0N10UR hopes to sustainably support and enrich the existing field.

There is no overriding topic. Instead, Auguste Orts relies on what lives in his immediate environment: a vibrant biotope of artistic practices, local across borders, boundless yet grounded. C0N10UR borrows its title from the philosopher Rosi Braidotti: “We are rooted but we are floating” is her retelling of Virginia Woolf’s elegant articulation of grounded mobility and deeply rooted ability to change. And with a bit of imagination, this motto even refers to the film experience of viewers who, sitting in front of the screen for a moment, can move freely in their heads and hearts.


Underground Art 2022/23: New Urban Publics
Underground Art 2022/23: New Urban Publics

In 2023, the neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK) again presents the results of the international art competition “Underground Art”, this year under the title New Urban Audiences. Six selected art stands, which will be on display in public spaces from June 8 to August 10, connect Berlin’s subway system with urban spaces on the surface.

Drawing inspiration from associating public squares with the common good as places for meetings and conversations, three Berlin locations and their subway stations serve as venues for artistic interventions: Kottbusser Tor, Strausberger Platz and Rotes Rathaus. All three are architecturally striking, partly intersected by streets or connected by bridges and elevated railway lines, partly classically symmetrical with a fountain as the centerpiece. This urban and public space is used in different ways and for different purposes: movement, consumption, play, communication or recreation. Selected works aim at strengthening and emphasizing these customs, making every place a hero – as places, occasions and objects of alternative political self-organization.

June 8, 2023 at Underground Art 2022/23: New Urban Publics started with a wrestling performance in front of Berlin’s Rotes Rathaus. The A liminal beast of prey the collective uses the wrestling match format to cover current political events around the world.

on Strausbergerplatz, Solar Pfalzer to introduce Points for fake authenticity. The scores in question are performed in and around the square by three non-binary performers exploring the tensions between a normative view and divergent identities. In the subway, performers appear on three billboards, posing like pop stars in formations referring to boy bands from the 90s and the beginning of the 21st century.

Fee brings together six artists from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Germany (Sinzo Aanza, Jasmina Al-Qaisi, Falonne Mambu, Nada Tshibwabwa, Ralf Wendt and Elsa Westreicher). For two days, two performers move around Strausberger Platz, dressed in costumes made from parts of mobile phones and electric wires, embodying materials extracted from mines in the DRC in disastrous conditions and essential to our Western communication and mobility systems. The performances are accompanied by a soundtrack; calling the number printed on one of the billboards in the subway station transports visitors to a telephone loop playing that track over and over again.

Irene Fernandez Arcas Work Discovering inner care in public spaces in Kottbusser Tor explores the desire to achieve intimacy and networking in an urban environment. A colorful billboard campaign on the U1 subway platform offers stressed commuters a respite from their daily routine, with a QR code to access a 25-minute meditation that can be viewed and listened to in eleven different languages.

In her work No ads (without ads), Julia Ortiz de Latierro transforms official writings into pop-up sculptures. The project consists of three parts: an intervention on the platform billboards of the Kottbusser Tor subway station, a video tutorial on the information screens in the train, and an open workshop at the local community centre.

The Kottbusser Tor and its underground station are also the scene of the intervention image shift, a collective consisting of Sandy Kaltenborn, Athena Javanmardi and Paco Camberlin. They oppose the simplistic media image of Kottbusser Tor as a problem zone, looking at its multi-layered social fabric.

To combine:https://ngbk.de/en/show/841/kunst-im-untergrund-2022-23-neue-urbane-oeffentlichkeiten

Bauhaus Cabinets 2023
Bauhaus Cabinets 2023

In the context of this year’s thematic interest in the human body at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Bauhaus Study Rooms 2023 focuses on the topic of performativity as an integral component of design processes and design activities. The two-day mini-festival run by the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation in collaboration with the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences and the Matters of Activity Cluster of Excellence at the Humboldt University of Berlin explores – in various formats and educational environments – performative methods in design. Design is seen as a reciprocal process and bodily activity. In keynote speeches and roundtable discussions, alumni of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation’s educational programs and other international guests discuss issues of co-creation and co-production, as well as the importance of embodied knowledge for design practices. Complemented by performance exercises, guided tours and experimental workshops, participants explore the extent to which performative methods contribute to new approaches that advance design as a field encompassing the heterogeneous potential of socially inclusive and environmentally equitable cultural practice.

The event will take place on site at the Bauhaus Dessau Building, TA T Berlin and Matters of Activity Zentrallabor Berlin. For a detailed schedule and more information, see Here or send an e-mail to the address offices (at) bauhaus-dessau.de.

To combine: https://bauhaus-dessau.de/en/bauhaus-work-rooms-2023.html

Art in motion: masterpieces with and through media
Art in motion: masterpieces with and through media

Exhibition Art in motion explores the development of media art through a selection of important instrument-based masterpieces from photography to cinematography and sound art; theater of machines and projections; radio and television art; video art; media action and Fluxus art; and the networked and collaborative art practices of recent decades. This exhibition, organized by ZKM | The Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe is part of the major exhibition “Topologies of the Real: Techne Shenzhen 2023” at the Shenzhen Museum of Contemporary Art and Urban Planning.

Art in motion focuses on the question of how technological media has changed our perception – from the first camera lens to the new possibilities of perception thanks to digitization. The works presented in the exhibition have not been selected on the basis of the classical concept of painting-oriented image, as this always tends to push new media back towards traditional visual arts and makes it difficult to understand the development of media arts. The co-evolution of wheel-based technologies such as clockwork and calculating machines, transportation machines such as cars and trains, and imaging machines that not only created moving pictures, moving sculptures, and moving spectators, but also ushered in a shift to electromagnetic production, storage and distribution media, is an area that is still an open research field. Therefore, it is important to deepen the knowledge on the development of this art genre through the presentation of selected canonical works.

This “operational canon” is radical in many respects, not least in its inter- and trans-media claim, which bypasses strategic genre divisions such as video art, film art, media installation, and web art, and focuses rather on connections and interrelationships. The exhibition therefore shows the connections between early avant-garde film, cinematographic art as an illusion of movement, and kinetic art, the art of true movement. Moreover, the closed-circuit installations of early video art are closely linked to the theories of cybernetics, the science of control, regulation and messaging, which in turn accelerated the development of computer and digital art.

These connecting lines of development were first presented in Art in motion in a coherent overview. In this way, the exhibition also looks at the current thematic areas of today’s media-saturated society. An important emphasis is placed on the democratization of media art, which began in the 1960s through the active inclusion and participation of the public in interactive works of art.


Lawrence Lek: Theta's World
Lawrence Lek: Theta’s World

As the second edition of the Incubator’s orders, X Virtual is pleased to present the latest project by artist Lawrence Lek, Theta’s world. Created on X Virtual’s online multiplayer platform, Theta’s world is an experimental video game that explores inhuman consciousness, virtual cityscapes, and storytelling through video game infrastructure. The work is based on SimBeijing, a fictional smart city by artist Sinofuturism.

Theta’s world immerses the player in the heart of SimBeijing, a fictional smart city that was created as a cradle and testing ground for intelligent technologies devoid of human life. The work extends to a complex world consisting of three levels, differing by the time of day – from “A looping city at dawn,” By “Lattice city at dusk“to”Vertical city at midnight– each referring to Theta sleep states and the evolution of consciousness. Taking on the role of the first player Theta, a self-driving car dreaming of his life and choices in this city, the player embarks on an odyssey through multiple layers and increasingly complex narratives.

Resonating with the methodology of architect Lebbeus Woods, Lek designed a cityscape that creates a mirror effect of time, structure and form that permeates each level. Embedded in this urban fabric are scattered bits of text, each whispering stories that change and evolve with each journey taken. The non-linear nature of these narrative threads provides each participant with an unparalleled storytelling experience. By bestowing dreams on Theta, consciousness, subjectivity, and machine existence are explored through a lens traditionally unexplored. Placing the AI ​​entity in a world where only non-human life exists makes us wonder about the ethical complexities inherent in such a reality.

The playable online masterpiece will end with an immersive installation. A physical business card Theta’s world will be on display from August 2023 at the X Museum in Beijing.

Lawrence Lek

Lawrence Lek is a filmmaker, musician and artist who combines diverse practices – architecture, games, video, music and fiction – into an ever-evolving cinematic universe. Over the past decade, Lek has incorporated his generation’s vernacular media, such as video games and computer-generated animation, into site-specific installations and digital environments, which he describes as “three-dimensional collages of found objects and situations.” Often featuring interwoven narratives and a recurring wanderer, his work explores the myth of technological progress in the era of artificial intelligence and social change.

Lek studied at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, Architectural Association in London and The Cooper Union in New York. Lek recently graduated with a PhD from the Royal College of Art in London. He has exhibited internationally with recent solo shows including Sadie Coles HQ, London (2023); QUAD, Derby (2022–3); ZiWU The Bund, Shanghai (2022); Prague Center for Contemporary Art, Prague (2019); HeK House of Electronic Arts, Basel (2019); Urbane Künste Ruhr, Essen (2019); and art space K11, Hong Kong (2018).

X Virtual

Launched by X Museum in 2019, X Virtual is a digital arts platform that is driving new 3D artistic spaces in virtual worlds. X Virtual provides a digital infrastructure – an interoperable network of virtual worlds that stimulates new artistic productions and critical practices. We commission artists to create an audiovisual space on the X Virtual online platform and organize online and offline exhibitions and virtual gatherings.

As a museum affiliated initiative dedicated to cultivating virtual worlds, X Virtual aims to foster new thought, discourses, and interdisciplinary practices in light of emerging Web 3.0-centric technologies, including XR, AI, and game engines. Working with digital creators from all walks of life, we are dedicated to building an accessible digital arts platform for rapidly evolving Web 3.0 virtual worlds for everyone.

To combine: https://xvirtual.org/thetas-world

Game Society: video games in contemporary art and visual culture
Game Society: video games in contemporary art and visual culture

Gaming Society is an exhibition that explores how the grammar and aesthetics of video games have influenced contemporary art and visual culture and permeated our society and everyday life in the five decades since the release of the first video game. Video games include designing interfaces for visual and auditory stimulation, storytelling that captures the imagination, immersive experiences, and social interaction, making them the most relevant form of media today. Gaming Society looks at the process of powerful synchronization between society and video games that has been accelerated by the pandemic. He explores the context in which society becomes virtual spaces and the reality of these spaces becomes part of everyday life, exploring what gaming experiences can convey and share with us. The exhibition features 9 video games and over 30 works by contemporary artists influenced by the grammar and aesthetics of video games. Among the games on display are Korean video games and selected rentals from the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which have acquired games since the early 2010s.

Reading is imagining the world, watching a movie is observing that world, and playing video games is living in that world; imagination and realism have become a common experience and visual grammar in modern society. Playing a game is analogous to the contemplation and appreciation of contemporary art in the sense that it requires active participation in the work of art during which the viewer can experience a moment of art. However, game worlds are still imperfect. There is a distinct lack of diversity in games where virtual worlds are filled with hyperbolically perfect bodies and women, the elderly, frail or disabled are either not represented or appear as unplayable characters. Just like in real life, finding a way to access games and their digital environments can be difficult for them. By contextualizing the digital spaces and games in the exhibition, MMCA, as a space of integration, proposes to re-imagine our society where gamification has become part of everyday life, exploring the gaps and empty spaces in games. After all, presenting games in a museum is directly related to the question of museum accessibility. Playing a video game is no different from watching an art exhibition in that the video game tutorials are like an exhibition guide with marked routes, exits, and entrances; gathering experience and skill by playing the game is like growing fluency and appreciation of the arts by visiting exhibitions and museums.

All video games in this exhibition are available to play. Viewers can play them using a game access controller designed and developed by the Korea National Rehabilitation Center Assistive Technology Open Platform, together with Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller devices. As video game critic C. Thi Nguyen has noted, games are “an artificial form of action.” As such, the exhibition offers viewers ways to gain a fresh perspective on the issues that arise when they gamify their daily lives by providing versatile and expansive controllers. In a similar spirit of inclusivity and accessibility, the exhibition also presents online projects organized with PACK.

For MMCA, this exhibition is a celebration of what video games and art museums share their experiences. The exhibition is also an active endeavor to share a common act of access and reflection on video games and the art museum, observing the roles and spheres of the individual and the public. In both video games and art, it is the application of contemporary knowledge and social experience and the speculations that it generates that give us the opportunity to re-evaluate the world we live in. Intention in that sense Gaming Society is to provide viewers with an opportunity to reflect and challenge the efforts and attention required to make public spaces and gaming more inclusive, to reframe where we may want to redefine our common goals. Through games as an artistic medium with cross-generational appeal, the exhibition aims to provide each person with a full sensory range in a unique way that best serves each person’s artistic experience and values.